Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Joy of the Lord.....


Heart, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.
Last night I was watching the Biggest Loser with my sweet husband. I have watched the transformations these individuals have made and it always moves me to tears. For so many reasons....I am so happy for them and for their families....I understand what that change is going to mean for them....I know their futures are forever changed....well, at least for the ones that truly "get it". The ones that have worked through their issues and know why they turn to food for comfort...why they would rather sit in front of a TV watching others loose weight than do it themselves.



I've been there. I've had the motivation and the time and the determination to get the weight off. To get healthy. But what I don't think I have ever dealt with is Why??...I keep repeating the same patterns throughout my whole life. And I keep ending up right back at the same spot or even worse. And so I gain weight and that makes me depressed and then I am depressed so I gain weight....



During a week moment last night I asked Rob if he would be my personal trainer. So when Rob takes something on he does it with everything he has. So this morning starting at 6 am he starts asking me if I am ready to get up and exercise....uuummm...NO!...It's dark and I'm sleeping!! So for the next half hour he worked on irritating me enough that I finally got up so he would quit bothering me. He informed me that we were going outside for a run...Are you CRAZY? It's 10 degrees outside...So he says.."then you will have to put on alot of layers..."



I knew Rob was taking this serious when we were ready to start he asked if he could pray...That was so Sweet!! As he was praying he said..."I thank you that Linda has the desire to be out here..." And I couldn't quit laughing....Ummm. I had the desire to go to a heated gym....You were the one who drug me out in the Frozen Tundra....



I will admit I was GRUMPY....He kept wanting to run and when I would "run" he was still walking...which makes me remember what a slow runner I am.....The farther we went I was torn...I was enjoying being outside but I kept getting madder and madder. He didn't realize that part of Bob and Jillian's role is counselor. So as much as I needed to exercise I needed to get stuff out...Why can't I get a handle on this???...Why do other people not struggle with this??...Why am I even trying???



At one point I had a visual....My heart was tired....Not physically (but it could be that too!) But my heart is just tired of everything........selfish people............people that I feel disappoint me........circumstances that I am tired of dealing with........tired of disappointing myself......I'm just tired!!



Last night I actually got out my book, Fearless Living. I have so many things highlighted and circled - I just started reading.....A few of them stood out....



But there is never a guarantee. While we wait for circumstances or people to change that are outside of our control, we can end up feeling sorry for ourselves, resentful and helpless...



Expectations will always build evidence for you and against others...



She had to accept where she was before she could move forward....


I could go on and on.....So many powerful things....that is what I want...To Live Fearless!!!!



I don't want others choices to affect me in such a way that I can't function.

I don't want to feel sorry for myself, resentful or helpless....

I don't want to put expectations on others so much so that it drags me down when they don't meet them..

I want to stop giving others control of my Joy and Peace!!

I want to accept where I am...to own it....so that I can move forward with my life!!!.....



So...does this all mean that in the morning I am going to jump up out of bed with a smile on my face and be ready to take on the day.....Ummm....I don't know if I would go that far. But I do know that I want to take my power back. I know to many people that are Negative....I don't ever want to be that....I often tell myself that I remember when I was a Happy Person.....I still have every reason to be happy. If others around me choose to live in constant negativity than I can't let that alter my life....




10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”



That is how I want to live my life....Enjoying food and not letting it dominate me......Helping those that are in need......and not grieving because I KNOW that my Joy comes from the LORD and I find my strength in HIM!!!!....

Can I get an Amen??......

Today I dream for you.....Joy.....the Joy that comes from HIM....not that Joy that the world offers that comes and goes...but the Joy that comes deep within your soul......



Have a JOYFUL day friend.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my Christmas Memories......





 It's funny because I have such a crazy memory and yet I don't remember alot about Christmas when I was growing up.....There are few but not as many as I would think...

I remember being about 6 and Neil would have been 8 and it being Christmas Eve. I remember the lights on the Christmas trees and the presents scattered around it. And then I remember how Momma always let us pick a few presents to open on Christmas Eve....(if she hadn't already given them to before...Momma was no good at surprises...lol..) I don't remember what we got at all I just remember the 3 of us being there....Sort of Random but I have always had that visual in my head....

When we were older (probably teenagers) I remember one night when Momma got home from Christmas shopping. We heard her tell Daddy that she had some bigger things that she had to leave out in the trunk. So after everyone went to bed Neil came in my room and we snuck out my window with a flashlight. When we opened up the trunk we were in Shock! There sat 2 World Globes....Yep.....just what every teenager wants huh?.....LOL...At least we had time to work on our excitement for Christmas morning....

One of my funniest Christmas memories though has got to be my 6th grade year. On Christmas Eve Daddy was on his way home from town and there was a guy hitchhiking...Daddy pulled over to give him a ride. Seems he had no place to go so......of course...Daddy brought him to our house...I remember Momma quickly wrapping up chocolate covered cherries so he would have something to open for Christmas. We had a Huge meal with lots of people on Christmas day. My best friend, Corrie Green and I "waited tables". Each table had a bell they rang for service....LOL...I recall that the Gentleman sat right by Daddy at the head of the table.....Daddy gave him some work for the next few days and all seemed well. But then one afternoon Momma got a phone call....it seems that Daddy had sent him to get supplies in the truck and  he never came back....Daddy called the police and so they sent out a report and Momma went to Lubbock to give Daddy a ride home. Well a few hours later we got a call. It seems they found the truck on the side of the road close to Amarillo.......out of gas......but "our friend" was nowhere to be found......LOL....

My next memory was when I was in 7th Grade...I'm pretty sure that had to be the closest to having all my brothers and sisters in one place. (maybe 8 of the 10??..) That was the year we were remodeling the living room into the kitchen so there was nothing in there...We filled it with "church tables"...I am sure we ate an incredible meal but what I remember most is the GAMES. Our family has always LOVED to play games....Most likely we played Family Feud and Spoons....But I just remember we played a version of Solitaire that had teams....The only word to describe it is CHAOS!!! I was on Jimmy's team and I recall sitting on top of the table to get a better look at the cards.....SO much fun!!!

But one of my most precious memories is actually a glimpse....a moment....I remember it, I know I do but I hold onto it because of a few photos that I'm sure are copies from my sister. I must have been 3 years old maybe. And my sister Carla and her husband Bill took me and Neil to Santa Land......sigh..... Here's how random my memory is....I remember where we parked and then walking down the street. It had actually snowed so as we approached I remember looking around at the trees covered in lights, feeling, what I would describe now as "stepping into Narnia...." It was like a magical place....I remember seeing Mr and Mrs Clause and Gingerbread houses....But right in the center was a large pole.....the North Pole......It was covered in Ice and you could go up to it and touch it....I think that is my most special memory because I have a the photos...not great photos....but I barely have a handful of tangible items from my childhood and these are ones I hold dear....Carla has me dressed in a soft white coat and my hair is almost blonde....I remember those years....years of uncertainty and turmoil....but I remember that night with Bill, Carla and Neil and feeling..... happy.....and loved....... the way a child should feel at Christmas time...

I often wonder what my kids Christmas memories will be.....Becca rolling her eyes when we would decorate the tree and I had to talk about every ornament...setting corn our for the reindeer......our tradition of 3 gifts....serving at the Soup Kitchen in Texas...D helping me put up Christmas lights......I pray their memories are of family and love and I hope that we have made the birth of Jesus the priority....

Today I dream for you.......sweet Christmas memories.....from your childhood and making new ones.....

Have a wonderful day friend....

Monday, December 6, 2010

frustrated with my failures

Taking a picture of my Coaching books atleast made me get them off
the shelf....Now maybe I will open them up....:-)
As you might have noticed I have been gone for awhile. I tried to decide if I discuss the reasons why or if I just go on to new topics such as Christmas Trees and Snow Days....but....I decided I needed the therapy session. A chance to talk it through in my head and maybe sort some things out.

Well the number one reason that I haven't blogged is mainly....because it was going good...Yep, that is the usual reason I stop doing something I love. I knew it was coming when I received the email that my blog is going to be featured with a story I wrote for my favorite website...InCourage on the 17th of this month....

This is so much of a pattern for me that it is completely insane. If I listed all the things throughout my life that I began and didn't finish it might be the size of a set of Encyclopedias. But it's most frustrating when I LOVE what I am doing and there is no reason for me to stop....but I do.... and once again....I feel like I have failed....

My hardest "failure" within this last year was my Life Coaching class. I LOVED it!!! I mean ALOT!! I loved everything about it. I loved the books. The teachers. The people that I was meeting. The classes were taught by teleconferencing a few days a week and so it was Perfect! ....And the things that I was learning were not only helping me move toward my dream of being a Life Coach but they were helping me through obstacles in my own life as well.... Wonderful!!....

The incident that stands out in my memory of when it came to a halt was when we had to start finding people that would be willing to have us coach them. I contacted one of my friends that actually started me blogging. I asked her if there was an area that she would want to work on....Organization, Scheduling, Tasks that she wanted to get done. She was very excited and willing. I emailed her a worksheet filled with questions that let me know her style and where she hoped to make progress....It was Great. She was excited. I was excited. And so.....of course....I Stopped....I remember getting her email back and looking over it and beginning to form a plan. I don't really remember the thought process that happened next.... All I do know is that time went by and I didn't respond to her and I hadn't done any of my classes and since that day I haven't opened one of my books.

Every once in awhile I try to be strong and I will stare at my books on my shelf and I really want to open them...if for no other reason than for myself. But I haven't gotten that strong yet. There is the failure on many levels....Of course there is the money that I "wasted"...that is my biggest guilt. Then the reality that I have yet another dream to throw in my bucket of UnAccomplishments.....sigh....

The other day something happened that made me realize that I need to really work through this and get a handle on it. The last few months I had been working on getting in shape and loosing some weight. I was doing okay and was down about 25 pounds and feeling good. No one had really said much but I was feeling great. Some things happened in my life and I relapsed. I was eating terrible and I had quit exercising. A couple of weeks went by and during 1 particular week I had 5 different people ask if I had lost weight or say that I was looking good. I would say...No - in fact I have gained weight back...trying to convince them of how bad I had been. When I would get home I would eat uncontrollably things that I hadn't eaten for months.

The worst was the day I was getting dressed and I put on a pair of blue jeans that had gotten pretty loose on me...I pulled them up and struggled to button them....I actually uttered the words...."there....see....I told you...."....I stopped myself and just stood in my closet and cried. I would love to say I got a grip and things are back on track but they have only gotten worse.....So now throw on the anger at what I have done to myself, the disappointment and the frustration.....Do I see why it happened - of course....I had a goal - fit into a certain pair of jeans by Christmas....Feel good by our trip to Jamaica....Be a runner by 1-11-11.....What happened??? I was getting close..........

.....sigh....what now?....Well I figure today was a step...blogging again....getting back up on that horse. And this morning I told Rob that I plan to exercise today He kept saying that he was so proud of me..... and I want him to be...and I want to be proud of me too!!....

Now I do realize that it's only 7 am and many times I think I can conquer the world while I'm in my PJ's and lying in my bed. But the real test will be when I put my feet on the floor. But hey, I figure that at least I am wanting it all again and that is a step...some days you take what you can get....

I know for a fact that Satan knows our weaknesses. And many days I think that he must have mine on a neon flashing light over his desk so that he is sure to never forget. He knows how to bring me down to a level where I am not productive and filled with despair.....and so today I claim....SATAN - YOU WILL NOT STEAL MY JOY!!!

Today I dream for you....fulfillment...completion...achievements....I dream that you can focus on something that you want and that you can see it  through until the end. That you can find the discipline and determination to follow through, so that on the other end you can look back and be proud and strong.....

Have a beautiful day my friend...<3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

my love for writing.....

I have always enjoyed writing for as long as I remember. If passions are indeed generational then there is no doubt that I followed in my mother's footsteps. I have so many memories of Momma writing poetry and songs. If you knew what my life was like growing up it wouldn't surprise you at all to know that my first memory of writing a story was that it was actually written by Momma. I think I may still have it in a box of memorabilia. I remember coming home with my assignment and showing it to her. Then when I came home from school the next day Momma had a story wrote for me....It was about a girl and her friend and how they wanted to be ballerinas. The reason I say it was typical of my life is because Momma was not the typical mother that made sure you followed through with homework or even really knew what we had going on in school. And there were many memories of waking up in the morning to Momma asking me if I wanted to stay home from school. School was not a big priority in our home so if Momma wanted to do some of my homework than more power to her....

The embarrassing thing is that my next writing memory also involves a story that wasn't my own. I was a Sophomore in high school. I don't remember the assignment but I remember my story clearly. I remember drawing a blank and one night while listening to the radio I heard a song that I had never heard before and thought the subject was incredible. So if I remember correctly I basically plagiarized the whole thing and turned in my paper. Well to my fortunate surprise our teacher that year must have lived in a cave without a radio because I not only received an A but she commented on how much she loved the subject. So for the last 25 years I have been unable to hear the song "The Cat's In the Cradle" by Harry Chapin without getting nauseous....ummmm yeah Linda let's pick a song that is going to be an national icon....geez.... I often wonder what her thoughts were the first time she heard the song after grading my paper. Let's just say I was never so happy to see a teacher leave our school after one year than her. 

Since high school I have many memories of writing. I remember writing a series of children's books when my kids were little which had characters that were machinery. They moved about and did different things and the stories had a moral to teach kids......Well, my first problem was finding anyone who could draw a bulldozer holding a baseball bat...no one could seem to envision what was going on inside my head and I felt that kind of ....pat her on her head and tell her good job....kind of feeling. So I put them away and gave up on that silly dream...Within a few years I remember my jaw dropping the first time I saw Bob the Builder...."IT'S MACHINERY WITH EYES!!".... Followed by Thomas the Train and a steady flow of similar material. Sure, I could have had the mindset that this was a prime opportunity to jump in but the reality was that I didn't know the first step in getting a story published. So my dream set on a shelf.

After that my writing basically consisted of family Christmas letters until I decided to return to school life in 2004. My first 2 classes were Speech and English....- talking and writing.....I was in Heaven !! My classes reignited a passion for writing that I had forgotten was there. I remember how insanely difficult my History classes were but knowing there was little else that I wanted to do at that time than sit and listen to Dr. Zorea discuss the Cold War....It was like a rebirthing of my mind.

I received my Associates degree a few years ago and I cannot even begin to count the times I have questioned what is next....I have one child in college and my 2nd will be there before I know it. I have so many dreams that jump around in my mind....Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Professional Organizer or maybe just run away to a far away land with my husband.....aahhhh....But honestly with everything I see in my future it somehow includes writing. I want to write a Parenting book, A book on Worship, A book on Organization.......there are so many things that go through my mind but I just don't know where to start.....

This morning I went into my office that is lined with countless books that I have collected through the years. There was a book that I remember purchasing during that first English Class.....It is called The Writer's Idea Book.....As I thumbed through it I got that excitement in the pit of my stomach again. The book is designed with different "prompts" to help you stretch your writing mind....I felt like a little kid getting giddy with the possibilities......

In a few days it will be December....I have no idea where this year has gone...So I know that before I know it I will be sitting at my computer writing my 2011 Christmas letter. What will it say???.....What will this next year be filled with....It doesn't even seem possible that I will be writing that my children will be 20 and 17.....The 19 and 16 are difficult enough for me to process this year....But what will I be able to say about my life...what challenges will I overcome.....what adventures will have I have lived .....Where will my love for writing weave itself into my hopes and dreams.......sigh....

Today I dream for you a memory.....stop and remember a love that you have had since you were a child...was it cooking.....dancing.....singing.....painting....taking care of animals....teaching.....the ideas could be endless......What of those passions can you see resurfacing throughout your life.....What is God calling you to do with that passion.....And the most important question...what is keeping you from living it......

Have a passion filled day my friend.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

Did Ya See Da 30 Pointer??

Our Cabin in the Woods....(okay Rich & Lisa own it now but I still call it Ours....)
Cabin, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.


Well it has officially begun......When I woke up this morning to Da Yoopers singing The Second Week of Deer Camp, I knew that Deer hunting season is now upon us....


I myself am not a hunter....for many reasons.....


Reason # 1 being - if they would possibly make the season in June when I didn't have to wear 14 layers of clothing to stay warm I might consider it.


Reason # 2 - I can't sit still (the ADD ya know...(the ya know was said in a Canadian accent for effect...lol...) and with that one you can add that I like to talk......uummm yeah.......


Reason # 3 - The last time I held anything resembling a gun I was playing Lazer Tag in my sister Debbie's backyard in the early 90's. And I most likely was killed early on so not alot of experience......


Reason #4 -.......Ummmmm Bambi......Duh!!!!....


Reason # 5 - I have run out of wall space for deer heads in my house....


Reason # 6 - No matter what you do to cook it I can't pretend that venison is beef...it's Not!!!


Even though I am not a hunter my boys are. Every year Rob's cousins come and stay at our cabin in the woods. They live on the Illinois border but luckily they are on the Wisconsin side.....I don't think you could make it through Deer Camp in Wisconsin if you are officially from Illinois - the harassment might be unbearable.


When Larry and his crew get here on Friday night Hunting Season can truly begin.....Rob of course will be getting his license tonight (last minute) at the Boaz Country Store. Then he will head back to take part in the festivities....


I know alot of women have a hard time with this season but I personally Love it....

* I love pulling out of my driveway and knowing that Adam is the one sitting in the tree stand across the field. Then looking up towards the house seeing a glimpse of Rob in his orange and knowing that if I dare honked to say good morning it might send him into convulsions......LOL.....

*I love driving into town seeing all the guys along the way like little orange dots in the woods and then crank up my heat.

*I love that Saturday mornings (opening day of hunting) is the day that the town is filled with Craft Fairs for the women. I spent many years having my own booth and now I started the tradition of going with my friend Nichole just to enjoy.....

*I love nights like last night - Rob and D bustling around the house getting everything together.....talking nonstop.....

*I love the updates throughout the day hearing who has seen what and who the lucky one is that already got one....

*I love hearing the words...."we are headed out for a Drive!!" That means that they all get to work together and I know they have so much fun.....

*I love that D gets to hang out with his cousin Randy - riding 4 wheelers and being boys......

*I love when they come back from the Cabin telling about how stuffed they are from all the amazing food that Teresa sent along.

*I sort of love....driving to Boaz to see the Wall of photos of everyone with their deer....okay - not that one so much....I like getting a Diet Mountain Dew at the Boaz store....


*But most of all I LOVE to see Rob doing something that he enjoys....He does so much for our family and works so hard and very seldom takes time for himself. I know there are times that he thinks that he is just going to "skip it this year...." But I don't want him to....He needs to be one of the guys and tell stupid jokes and share this all with his son.....It sounds crazy and doesn't make sense at all to me but I know he needs it....Just as much as I need to drive to Madison with my computer and a book and sit in a chair at Barnes and Nobles doing the exact same thing I could be doing sitting in my own house (except no one is making a caramal macciato at my house...) He needs "guy time"....


So.....starting this evening I bid him farewell and then go rent some movies. And then I lay in bed at night warming up his ice cold feet while listening to all his stories of the day....(and Hopefully there are stories...it won't be good if there aren't - that's a whole other side of hunting......) And I know it's only for a short time....


So as I started out that this morning I heard the one song but tomorrow will be the Official Day....When I wake up to Phil playing......Did Ya See Da Thirty Pointer....It's like the bell toll.......Silly Silly Life.....


Here are a few videos for you if you are totally bored.....or if you should be working and you don't want to.....


The first one is one my sister Debbie told me about this morning....Bill Engvall talking about taking his wife deer hunting...Sooo funny - but be warned - you will probably end up watching several of his if you start.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zTFd93oAiA


And for those of you who have never had the pleasure of hearing Da Yoopers...I will apologize up front for the total waste of your life but it is just a part of our life "up Nort..."

Here is Thirty Point Buck

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Utt_XgcWv8


And The 2nd Week of Deer Camp....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb9yhhflmvY


Well wasn't this special.....LOL.....So today I dream for you........Laughter at stupid stuff.....I say that because I have spent most of my morning listening to Da Yoopers and watching Bill Engvall videos and laughing the whole time....And I just realized I am still borderline grounded from my Internet. They said that I wasn't suppose to be watching videos for 30 days to get my usage down and I now probably ruined it with Da Yoopers.....**shaking head**....Oh Well......

Have a good day my friends......

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Omaha, Nebraska


Rob and I travel quite a bit but I have to admit Nebraska has alluded us. So when this became my pick city of the day I really didn't even know where to begin. Honestly the first thing that comes to mind when I think Omaha is Steaks (like the locals have never heard that one before)....but I thought to myself that there must be more to it then that.....So I set out to do some research....

The main thing that I read about is the Downtown Area...

When the first settlers set up camp on the western banks of the Missouri River, the city of Omaha was born. What was once the site of these early dirt roads and crude, makeshift buildings is now a bustling urban area. Downtown The Old Market , located just minutes from Eppley Airport, is a multi-block conglomeration of renovated brick warehouses occupied by restaurants, shops, bars, apartments, condos and art galleries. Quaint, old-style lampposts, uneven brick streets, horse-drawn carriages and street side musicians make the area a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Enjoy an intimate dinner at V. Mertz , down a cold brew at Mr. Toad or shop for the latest fashions at Nouvelle Eve .

Downtown is also a haven for the arts. The Joslyn Art Museum , the Orpheum Theater , the Durham Western Heritage Museum , the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center and the Civic Auditorium are all located here.
As I read along I found out that there are a tremendous amount  of famous people that have come out of Omaha....




Omaha is the historic and modern birthplace and home of notable politicians, actors, musicians, business leaders, sportsmen and cultural leaders. Numerous actors, including Gabrielle Union, Montgomery Clift, Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire, Dorothy McGuire, Marlon Brando and Nick Nolte, were born in Omaha. Academy Award winner Henry Fonda also grew up in Omaha. Marlon Brando's mother encouraged Henry Fonda to pursue acting at the Omaha Community Playhouse. His son Peter Fonda also briefly lived in Omaha. Mrs. Brando helped found the playhouse. His family's home still stands on South 33rd Street, a few blocks from the site of the first home of Gerald Ford.

Warren Edward Buffett, born August 30, 1930 in Omaha Nebraska, is an American investor, industrialist and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often called the "legendary investor Warren Buffett", he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people, he was ranked as the world's second wealthiest person in 2009 and is currently the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2010.

The more I read about Omaha the more I am intrigued...I think it would be a wonderful vacation spot....They have the largest indoor rain forest and beautiful riverfront. I am attaching a link so that you can go more in depth if you would like....http://www.visitomaha.com/


I have a feeling that one of these days this just might have to be on our lists of places to visit....If you have any information about Omaha - or any stories to share I would Love to hear them....


Today I dream for you......well sorry Great Steaks!!!....LOL....I actually haven't even had the pleasure of having an actual Omaha steak seeing as how we buy a beef every year at the local fair.....But after reading all the reviews of the Great Places to eat steak in Omaha I think I might be putting some on the grill tonight.


Have a great day friends...
Linda

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Repairing and Forgiving

My memory is a crazy crazy thing.....You would think that with such an amazing memory I would remember to do things like pay bills on time or to give my dog his medicine....but Alas.........No.....(in all honesty I remember those things, it is just the lazy part of me that walks by and says....hhmmm...I"ll do it later....But that is a whole other blog so we will leave it at that.....)

I spend insane amounts of time recalling things like the layout of my high school, junior high or even elementary....which teacher was in which classroom and sleeping under the teachers coat closet was the best place for naps when we were in kindergarten. Or things like remembering what I wore to the Rick Springfield concert....I can remember that my favorite thing to eat at Paco Taco in the mall when I was a kid was a Chalupa and that the Potato Factory was across from it but was only there for a few months....I remember songs I sang in Vacation Bible School at Ropes and the layout of a girl's house I had a sleepover with in Fort Worth the summer I stayed with Debbie in 4th Grade......

Why do I remember this stuff? Why do I care to remember this stuff at all????? I honestly have no idea.

Most of the time it is fine....exhausting but fine. But what I was thinking about this morning is what I can't remember. I had a normal upbringing I guess you could say....LOL....(a whole lot of stuff just went through my mind as I wrote that and thought...normal huh????....) But in the scope of things it was pretty typical.

I can almost picture the moment when as kids we stepped past the threshold of the days of everyone being everybody's friends to "groups". I remember looking at the girls that had spent the night with me celebrating my 9th birthday at the roller rink screaming out the windows of Diane's yellow Vega...."HEY AMERICA....PEACE TO THE COUNTRY!!" and laying in my bed when Diane and Neil came to my bedroom window and scared us to death while laughing hysterically. But within 6 months there was a line....I knew it and they knew it.....

As much as I can remember I can't remember who my friends were for the next several years. Now don't think that I'm saying that I don't remember their names because I can pretty much tell you everyone that was in my 6th grade class and where they sat in Coach Timmon's room. But I don't know if I had a "group". I don't remember sleepovers or birthday parties....I wonder about that young girl and how sad she must have been during that time.

When I was in Junior High I made cheerleader.....LOL...(that is another one that I will blog about later because that is a whole story in and of itself...) But you would think that being cheerleader would have moved me into a new "group". Nope, it just made the differences stand out even more. There were people that made sure even harder that I knew my place and my place was not with them.

High School got better....I found Suzy and Gina....LOL...funny - I say that like it was such a big school. It wasn't that I couldn't see them within our class of 26 students. But finally in High School we became a "group". I have memories of the first time watching Prince's VHS Purple Rain at Suzy's house. I have memories of waking up on Saturday mornings in Gina's room to her dad playing county music on his guitar. The memories of our 4 years could fill a book for me.

But so writing all of this the crazy thing I have been thinking is that I can't remember the bad stuff. I mean....I can....but I have to think really really hard. The other stuff flutters through my head endlessly but the really rotten cruel things that I know happened to me don't come so easy. There are times that I start to wonder if this is what they mean by stuffing things down deep inside. That one day I am going to "Snap" and it is all going to surface......that freaks me out just a tad bit....

Since those school days I have had my share of rude and malicious people that have come through my life. I have had hurtful things done and said to me....But honestly those memories come back to me very rarely. It's times like this as I bring it to my mind that my heart hurts for the girl/woman who was on the receiving end of many incidents that could have caused irrevocable damage.

So what brings this whole topic about...........well......Yesterday was quite a day.....maybe someday I'll blog about it more in depth but right now I just want to hold it and not speak to many words into it.....but long story short a relationship that was very important to me had been somewhat fractured....okay that is putting it mildly...maybe a full body cast...It was a slow process but finally in a matter of moments it was over.... I couldn't imagine how God could repair it....And yet Yesterday through a series of incredible and only God circumstances I sat last night holding the hand of one of the most precious people in my life.....crying and laughing and being honest about where we both had been in our lives....

Being friends for as long as we had been there was hurt along the way...I'm sure there was...But I don't remember it unless I try really hard. If I'm in a bad mood or in a pity party I can dig around and bring stuff to the top. But day to day that hasn't been what I think about. I think about Kwik Trip Chunkalunkas and how I miss her handwriting. So yesterday morning when God put things into motion I couldn't even remember how we had gotten to where we were and honestly I didn't care.....

Yesterday I wrote on my Facebook Page..."Have you ever known me to hold a grudge?....I think it's my ADD"....I really have a hard time staying angry at people......

***(Now even though I say that - there are people throughout my life that have said mean things about me and have done things that make me realize that it is not healthy to be in their presence....I may not hold a grudge but I am not a "wet noodle"....LOL.... )***

But I do think there are several reasons I am who I am...I would Love to be able to say.....I am able to Forgive others because of my amazing prayer life...I am so in touch with God...I realize that the forgiveness that he bestowed upon me is the same that I should offer to those around me....
But sorry to disappoint you....although that is somewhere deep inside, my main reason is honestly that I want to Love my life.....I HATE being bitter....being angry....being sad......I LOVE to laugh so hard I pee my pants....to see others happy....to hug and encourage and bring joy to those around me......

A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit down with a woman that was actually one of those girls from my childhood days....one that was in another "group". I was home and we decided to meet for lunch. We hadn't seen each other in over 20 years. It's that same story I told you earlier...I never dwelled on the hurts caused by her and her friends but if I concentrated I know they were there. We were both rather nervous but as we sat down we began to talk first about our lives now but then we went back to those days....She apologized for the things that she had done...for they way she treated me.....And I was able to get a glimpse inside of her life and what it was like for her back then as well......We sat and talked for 3 hours....3 beautiful hours.....

I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for that opportunity......And I am beyond thankful for last night to reconnect with a dear dear friend.....

****Now this I share as humbly as I possibly can........this is by no means bragging and as you read this I need you to understand my intention when I say these words.........I am so blessed that God has given me a heart to forgive.....that He has given me a memory that is more inclined to remember the good than the bad...I am by no means perfect....I still do have my pity parties where I spread my sorrows out on the floor and roll around in them....Although I am so happy with what He did for me yesterday I still have another relationship that is just as fractured....a Very important one...Even more so than the one was with my friend....I honestly don't know how to repair that one or even if it can be...But yesterday made me remember what a Big God he is....

Today I dream for you the faith to believe that God can do something you never thought could be done.....And that He does it in a way that you know it is only by His power that it could be....

Have a blessed day my friends.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Marie Osmond, McDonald's & My Kids


The other day I had blogged about Spontanaity...Well, last night Dustin tested me with it. Yesterday was a great day for "getting things accomplished" around the house. I got alot of those unfinished jobs crossed off my list (including finally hanging Rob's deer head on his office wall...woo hoo!) and it felt so good. So when Dustin got home I had Oprah on and I told him to come watch with me. She had Marie Osmond on her show talking about loosing her son 8 months ago. He suffered from depression and one day left a note on his bed and jumped from an upper floor of his apartment building. Dustin and I already talk alot but it started even some more conversations which was good.

Well during a break there was a McDonald's commercial advertising the McRib. I was telling him that I hadn't had a McRib since I was a little kid. Dustin quickly said "Mom....come on let's go to McDonald's!!!"...."Dustin, we can't go to McDonald's, I have stuff set out for supper and besides Dad would go crazy if we went to town just for McDonald's!!!"...."PLEEAAASSEEE!!....it will be fun!!!" All I could think of was my spontaneity blog.....sooooo....me and my son were out the door. We live out in the country so it is probably 15 minutes away. We went in - through the drive through and then back home....And I was praying the whole way home that Rob wouldn't be home when we got there.....He doesn't quite understand Dustin and I sometimes.... It was a fun little trip...we laughed ALOT and so I think that it was worth it.

About an hour later Becca got home for the weekend. After supper...(yeah, D and I still had to act hungry at supper...lol.....sometimes I feel like a kid again...lol...) Becca grabbed my hand and pulled me into my room to lay on my bed and talk. She loves my bed. So as we laid there she proceeded to tell me stories of college....oh my goodness....she is HILARIOUS!! I so miss all of her voices and crazy faces. She had me laughing so hard that I kept having coughing attacks...(which as women you might know what that leads to)...Well, since it was already 7:30 and dark Rob informed us that it was time for bed....LOL....He is ADORABLE! I went and got my pj's on and went to lay in Becca's bed to continue our talk. I just Love laying there cuddling with her and listening to her talk. Rubbing her fingers (like Debbie taught me to do with my kids).

She tells me that she likes college overall but still struggles with finding a good friend. She does things with different people but spends alot of time in her room. As a mom it's hard to hear that your child hurts. Dustin goes through the same thing. I told her that I know it probably wouldn't help but really if you ask most people they have a hard time finding a "best" friend.........Both my kids have alot of people that like them and are both well loved and respected by adults. I try to tell her that Rob and I go through the same thing....Life can be hard..Friendships are alot of work and take alot of commitment on both sides....The key is to be strong in yourself and kind and loving to those around you. You can't depend on your joy to come from those around you. Others can add to your Joy but they can't be your Joy...... 

As I laid in my bed I just kept thinking about Marie Osmond. My heart just broke as she shared her story of her son. As she talked about how well loved he was.... How he loved to laugh.... How close they were.....And yet he still chose to take his life........Why?????....I know why......Sadly satan is a master at what he does. How he can so easily convince us that we are unlovable....unworthy......useless......As adults we are more capable of finding our way to truth, maybe battered and bruised....but we atleast have a direction we try to point ourselves to...... but children.....children are much more vulnerable to Satan's lies.....

I pray for my children constantly....That they will know they are loved....That they can see that God has a plan for them. That they will never think that life is so bad that they just want to give up. That they can find JOY and PEACE in this temporary place called Earth.....

Wow this post got intense didn't it???....But that was my day yesterday. A roller coaster of emotions. I cherish the moments with my kids. I know I have to hold them tight while I can because no one knows what tomorrow will bring. So, I am thankful for the post that God gave me about Spontaniety because without that prompting I would have never had my little trip with D and I probably would have just went to bed instead of spending time cuddling with my girl......sigh....

Today I dream for you...........grab the moments.....take advantage of time with someone you love..... to Laugh.....to cry....to just be real......I know that Marie Osmond would agree that if something were to happen it doesn't make it easier but those are moments that you wouldn't trade for the world.....

Have a blessed day my friends....





Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ruidoso, New Mexico.....

So my first post in my series of Where In The World......is going to be........ Ruidoso, New Mexico....



I have actually been there several times and LOVE it!!!.... And I know I am not alone!! When you grow up in the middle of a cotton field and can drive for a few hours and be skiing in the Rocky Mountains - Ruidoso quickly can become an image of Heaven.



My favorite memory of going there was with my niece Andrea and my nephew Nathan. We had went skiing at Ski Apache. Andrea had never been skiing before so we spent a little time at the beginning showing her the basics. Finally the time came to take her on the chair lift. So she and I went up one of the shortest lifts, Lower Moonshine, and she got off beautifully. As we headed down I suddenly remembered that we had left out one crucial step....How to STOP....Whoops....As she went flying ahead of me I could see what was about to transpire...so what did I do??? I got my camera out...well duh!!! So I got a nice shot of Andi running into a crowd of people waiting to get onto the chair lift....Arms, Legs, Skis and Poles went flying......Ummm Whoops.....Well, no one was seriously hurt....Just Andi's ego.....Sorry Andi Kay....I take complete responsibility for your fear of skiing now....But I Do Love You!!!


The Ruidoso Downs Race track is home to the richest quarter horse race in the world; The All American Futurity...I have never been but if you are there you must stop by and see the incredible horse sculptures.....Breathtaking....



My personal favorite Restaurant is Casa Blanca....mainly because of their incredible Chili Rellenos -
Yummy!! In fact on my next trip to Texas I am trying to figure out how we can  make a trip the Ruidoso just because I am hungry for Chili Rellenos......Is that wrong???  And I just read that they have an amazing appetizer of fried Green Chili Strips.....it's tempting me even more....


Well now that I have given you all the important details and some silly personal stories I suppose I should give you some history about it. I am still working out the kinks on this whole Where in the USA thing and what I want to do with it but for all you History people....here you go....


History of Ruidoso.....http://www.ruidosohistory.com/
Ruidoso and its tumultuous start...

Captain Henry Stanton was one of the first to arrive to Ruidoso country in January 1855. He had his orders to come up from Fort Fillmore (an outpost near the Las Cruces vicinity) to join forces with Captain R. E. Ewell. Their mission was to carry out an expedition to find the bands of Apaches that stole some 2,500 sheep. Captain Stanton may have been the very first Anglo to come upon the "Noisy River" (translated: Ruidoso)...the Ruidoso River would eventually lend its very name to the village that surrounded it. The Spaniards were supposedly the very first to discover the Ruidoso Valley...followed by the Mescalero Apache with settlements throughout the valley.

Captain Henry Stanton was killed during his mission which led to the establishment of Fort Stanton in 1855. This Fort was integral to settling the Ruidoso Valley by providing protection and enforcing law and order.
The Ruidoso River was also the pull for Paul Dowlin...of whom was a Civil War veteran. He was a member of the New Mexico Volunteers and, during his enlistment, he also worked as a post trader for Fort Stanton (located between Lincoln and Ruidoso). After his run with the NMV, he received a homestead of 160 acres...as did many other veterans of the Civil War. Through a land purchase grant, he acquired another 600 acres. This land encompassed much of where the Ruidoso village resides today. His purpose, to start a planing mill (for wood) by channeling the river's force, from both Carrizo Creek and the "Noisy River"...his efforts were stifled since the water's force fell short to power up for the wood mill. He converted the mill for grinding grain to match the river's energy. In its earliest days, Ruidoso itself became known as "Dowlin's Mill."

Dowlin met his doom, May 5, 1877, by one of his very own former employees. Jerry Dillon shot an unarmed Dowlin for reasons unknown. Dillon left for Texas never to be heard from again.


Well there you go... your History lesson for the day...

So today I dream for you......well, I dream for you great chili rellenos....LOL....isn't it funny that I have the power to say what ever I want and that's what I say...Okay that and a chance to remember a memorable vacation...Maybe it wasn't perfect (but chances are you didn't knock down a dozen people at a ski lift...) But remembering is Fun!!

Have a wonderful day my friends...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spontaneity is the Spice of Life


Chili Peppers, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.

Yesterday I sat down to write my blog so I could get on with the 100 things that I needed to do around the house. As I started writing crazy things started happening on my laptop and ....long story short....My computer was infected by a virus.....BOOOOO. I ended up spending the entire day sitting at my desk researching on my desktop computer and on the phone with the most incredible computer guy who just happens to be my nephew Kurt! Although I like visiting with Kurt it was not in my plan.

By the time I had to leave the house to head to Dustin's school for the parents night of their musical...(High School Musical) it still was not fixed. This morning I got up and after a few more hours I am happy to say that my laptop is virus free and I didn't even have to take it to the Dr.....Woop Woop!!!



This fit in so well of what I wanted to write about today...You know the saying...Spontaneity is the Spice of Life....Well, I was thinking how absolutely true it is. But I was trying to get a little depth into that comment.



What kind of spice is it...or should I say.....are you? I mean the spice shelf at Walmart alone goes on forever...(and don't even start me on Penzeys) I think it varies from person to person and with different situations.

Okay now...aren't salt and pepper considered spices to alot of people? So if you and a S&P kind of person being spontaneous could be deciding to order pizza instead of making the usual Pot Roast...(You go girl!!)



And then there are is the extremely spontaneous individual that decides that instead of heading into work today they end up at the airport and next thing they know they are sitting in a spa in Fiji....I think that person is more like Kaine Pepper with a hint of CRAZY...lol....(unless they are Donald Trump then hey why not...)



Sometimes I feel more like Lowries Seasoning Salt....You know - the old standby....The one when you grab from your spice drawer when you just can't decide .....you just grab what you know....I do a little bit here and there. Not really overpowering but pretty much I know what to expect.....

Just like this morning. I sat down at my desk (after the whole computer fiasco) and began to do bookwork....My mother n law calls and asks if I have time to talk about the book THE HELP that I had let her borrow....Well an hour later after a great talk about Politics and Religion.....(I Know...Politics, Religion and your mother n law....hhhhmmm.... but it was really good) Now that was spontaneous - Not Planned. But is that so unpredictable of me? I mean getting sidetracked.......Umm yeah....Not So Much!!! it wouldn't shock anyone that knows me.



So what does it take to be truly spontaneous? Or should I say spontaneous without the guilt????



I mean is guilt always going to be there? Just like indigestion after a great plate of Mexican Food. You know it's going to happen later...you may even take your Beno....but you choose to just live in the moment and worry about the consequences later.



This is what I think about the people that can withstand the kind of spices that should be outlawed in this country.......I am pretty sure it has been a process of acclimating themselves over time. They have slowly developed a taste for them as years go by...You rarely see a mom giving a young child hot sauce to try when they are at Taco Villa (well, unless you are in Texas....been there.....lol...).....But I guess that is how I should look at it. Today it's skipping the laundry to watch Dr. Phil and before I know it Rob and I will be jet-setting off for a weekend in Europe.....Just you wait and see....... Don't worry I'll send you a Postcard......Okay, you know the craziness in all of this don't you????........I mean honestly haven't we known each other long enough for you to see the ludicrosy in that whole scenario......You know if I can't get a card to the Post Office here in America it is never going to happen in another Country....HHAAAHHHAAA.....I might be spontaneous enough to travel to Europe on a whim but actually putting a postcard in the mail is just over the top!!!



Today I dream for you Spontaneity!!! Be Spicy!!! Do something out of the ordinary....but try to not have regrets or guilt.....hhhmmmm that sounds wonderful......Oh the ideas that go through my mind.....



Well have a fun day my friends!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

giving it to God....

A wonderful book on Prayer that my Brother n law
Bill gave to me.....

I've never had a mentor.....well, I shouldn't say that. I have 2 wonderful sisters that have guided me through the last 22 years of marriage and motherhood. They are my best friends and I am pretty sure they know pretty much everything about me....the good, the bad and the endless nonsense.....I can't imagine my life without them. But living 1200 miles away from my best friends has left me with a longing for someone to sit and hold me and encourage me through the rough times and high five me during my triumphs.....

I am pretty sure that I read too many blogs from other Christian woman. They talk about how they have mentors that are older than them. They meet weekly at Starbucks with Bibles in tow and unload their struggles and then the wise woman doles out incredible wisdom and words from scripture and prays the most poetic of prayers.....sigh....

I remember one wonderful week in a woman's house in Minnesota. I was staying at her home while I was doing some volunteer work. She was a beautiful woman who was old enough to be my mom. Her husband and she had done mission work throughout their lives and had several children and grandchildren. She was showing me around her house and took me into her office where I saw bookshelves filled with so many of my favorite books. We stood there and talked about  many of them and my heart just got fuller and fuller. One evening after a long and stressful day she took me to her church for a potluck. As we walked along she put her arm in mine and guided me around and introduced me to all of her friends like she was so proud that I had come with her. That evening she brought me a cup of tea and we sat on her couch and began to visit. She asked me questions and just listened.....it was Heavenly.....She asked me questions that went deeper than anyone ever has.....or should I say - different directions.... if that makes sense. Her questions led me to corners of my heart that many times I won't allow myself to go on my own and I keep topics very much on the surface with many of my friends..I would much rather be the questioner than the questionee.....After we talked she took my cup and walked me to my room and asked if she could pray for me. I laid in bed that night and wept. I wept for alot of things that we had discussed and even more that it was bringing up. By the next morning many of them scurried back to their dark corners. But I will never forget how freeing it was to be on the receiving end of the wisdom of a woman like that...

Through the years I have thought of her. I know that I journaled during that week but even now it is hard for me to go back and see what I wrote.....Isn't that crazy?.....I don't even remember all the topics we discussed but I just remember the way I felt....And there are so many times I so long for a woman like that in my life... Someone who has been through the rough times and came out stronger. A woman who can hold my hand and take me to scripture when I'm feeling alone and abandoned. A woman who can guide me through the difficult teenage years and remind me that the hard work and consistency will be worth it. Someone that will wrap their arms around me and tell me I'm doing a good job.....sigh......

I'm at a strange point in my life...in SO many areas of my life......I can't even explain it. Becca is off to college and it won't be long before Dustin follows as well. What will life look like for me then? We are all aware of the imagination I have so it's not like I haven't pictured it in my head over and over. Rob and I will head off to some other country and help at an orphanage and return home on trips to visit our children and grandchildren. I will be writing book after book and taking insightful photography that shows a life that few have ever experienced. And at some point we will return home and build our little cabin in the woods (that's Rob's part of the dream....) But we will spend our days serving and encouraging others around us.

I know that vision comes from what I experienced during that week. During one of the most intensely emotional weeks I have ever had. Giving everything in me during the day and coming home to feel loved and encouraged to go back again......I believe with all my heart that God placed that woman in my life for a greater purpose than just to lift me up during that week. He showed me the importance of what a mentor can be in the lives of others.

I also believe that this is one more reason for my blog. I have a heart to encourage....to motivate...to bring woman to a closer relationship to our Heavenly Father....to know that they are not alone....But I am only one woman.....I have no counseling degree and I by no means have all the answers.

The difficulty that I find is that when others come to me I tend to take on their pain....So when I have 5 different situations going on that I am "helping" others through I feel exhausted and overwhelmed. I hurt for them and feel their pain. I spend my days trying to figure out ways to help them through....There have been many times that I feel that I spend more time on trying to see ways for them to move forward than they do themselves and then it leads to resentment and frustration.....I find myself being angry and short with my own family for no reason...And then I am filled with guilt because I know what it's like to be in despair and hopeless....I may not have been in their particular situation but I definitely can relate on some level.......

So my problem is....I don't know how find balance....

I always go back to the vision of that woman....Her peace....Her strong faith.....Her calming spirit....That is what I want....That is the place I long to reside. To encourage without internalizing.......hhhhmmmm...

Well my......this was very therapeutic today......Once again I love how I never know what I am going to write about....I could say that I didn't know that this was inside of me but I really knew it was and so has Rob....It has become much more evident lately. To a point that I know that it has to be dealt with but I just don't know how...Writing this today it is very clear to me that my top priority needs to be Prayer.....I need to realize that no matter what the situationis it is ultimately in His hands....I need to quit spending the hours of my days problem solving others problems and more time lifting them up to Him. I am not called to have all the answers and I can't be so hard on myself if the person I am trying to comfort finds that their life has only gotten worse. I am not in control of the decisions they make. I am only in control of mine....

So today I dream for you....... open eyes to see if there is something in your life that you are trying to take care of on your own.....by your own strength.....Is God telling you that what you truly need to do is lift it up in Prayer....Every time the thought enters your mind give it to Him. Instead of allowing your mind to stew and plan, worry and then get depressed..... let Satan know that you have no interest in going there and give it to God.......sigh.....

Well thank you for letting me think through this today.....I already feel lighter and more at peace....but I will be honest that it isn't going to happen overnight......I am still human you know.....

Have a Beautiful Day my friends....






Thursday, November 4, 2010

learning more about my Country.....

Okay a friend of mine and I are in a challenge....

I listen to NPR quite a bit and I love on one of their shows where they throw a dart at a map and look up information about that area. Well, to educate ourselves on more of the USA, we are trying sort of the same thing.....I am not good at sticking to a day of the week or anything like that but periodically I will do a post of a town/city and try to get information and highlights for you....

If you know anything about the area I would LOVE to hear your information as well....Or if you live there that would be all the better!!!! - You can share the Best Place to Eat and info like that.......

I hope that it will also be a fun way to get to know more of the people that read my blog......

Rob and I love to travel so it would be fun at some point in the future to be able to go visit some of these places....

So I will pick my first place and do a post soon!!!!! Hope that you enjoy it.. I think this is going to be FUN!!

Early morning drive....

A Beautiful Wisconsin View

What to make with my apples......hhmmmm
This morning my sweet husband woke me from a sound sleep in my nice warm bed at 5:30 am to remind me that I promised  that I would drive him to a job he was working on that was an hour away.....
"Really???  Are you sure???.....Did I know what time I would have to get up????"

So I drug myself out of bed......more like hobbled.....(I am still recovering from a horrible pain in my right calf muscle....so no one is mistaking my name for Grace lately....) got dressed and we were on our way. Usually long drives are some of mine and Rob's favorite times together. I haven't seen him for days so I was catching him up on everything that he has been missing....some talks that Dustin had with his band director (which of course led to me telling Rob how Mrs. Holt - my HS band director - asked me to try out for Drum Major, which I did make but that meant I didn't get to ever be a Baton Twirler....dang it....) I told him how I have had an idea for an invention that I was sure would make us Millionaires....I have been telling the kids and D thought it was a great idea....Here is the CRAZY part....it had to do with computers and as I told Rob he says....."oh, they already have that...." HUH???? EXCUSE ME.....I mean it doesn't surprise me that it is not a new idea - but HOW did Rob know it existed???? - He can't turn on a computer.....) There were a few more stories and I noticed Rob hadn't said a word since we left the house and so I asked him if I was boring him....He said No... because the last few mornings he actually had to pull over and get out to walk around to stay awake and this morning there was no chance of dozing off with me in the car (then he looked at me and winked...)......hhhmmm....I will take it as Gratefulness.....

We got to the bridge that he was working on and Dave (our employee) was already there working. We said goodbye and I was on my way back home. The job was over towards the River which is always a beautiful drive. As I started home the sun was just coming over the horizon. The colors in the sky were simply amazing.....the purples and pinks and blues.....beautiful!!!

One of the downfalls of living in the hills is not being able to enjoy sunrises and sunsets like we do in West Texas.....There you can get a great view just about from Anywhere you stand!!! But here, the best place I have found is up on the ridge....So as I drove along the ridge the sun got higher and higher and the colors got brighter and brighter....I finally saw the tip of the sun as I started into the valley.

The road I take on the way home is lined with apple orchards for as far as you can see....Throughout the years it has easily become one of my favorite drives...The rolling hills and the straight lines of trees remind me of a photo out of a magazine....

So it made me think that today is going to be a baking day.....Rob brought me a big bag of apples home the other day.....(I think he was hinting....) so I am looking forward to filling my house with the smell of fresh baked apple something or other.....

When I spoke at Grandma's funeral one of my memories was of the year that Rich and Lisa and then Rob and I had at least 5 apple pies in our freezer at all times.....Whoever thought you would get tired of apple pie but let me tell you that you can get mighty close..... But Grandma loved making them, so as long as we kept bringing her bags of apples she would keep making them. We would take them home, freeze them and when you needed a new one - take one out - thaw it in the microwave then bake....Yummy!!.....We couldn't make a trip to town without Grandma calling telling us to bring back the pie pans and more apples so she could make more....Well the guys were happy to accommodate!!.....sigh.....just missin' her........

Well, I better get busy....Becca and a friend are coming home for the weekend and get here tonight!!!!!!!!Yippee!!! Lots going on but I am so excited! She and Dustin are planning on having a Ton of kids over Friday night for a campfire and then just hanging out.....Will be so good to hear my house filled with teenagers again....I miss that......

So....today I dream for you.....hhhhmmm what direction should I go???? How about today I dream for you a moment to remember your favorite dessert when you were a kid......who made it???? Why is it a great memory????........

Mine was a cake that Momma use to make that was a white cake that she put in the fridge.....it had pineapple and an amazing frosting.....funny that I can't even remember much about it except picturing myself thinking that it was Wonderful......Oh I am sure there are MANY others too.....but I will leave you with that...

Have a great day my friends........



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Voting booth


Voting booth, originally uploaded by pieceofheaven.
Yesterday our country voted.....and although I know that there was alot of division, I am positive that there was one unanimous celebration at the end of the night....The fact that we now have a break from the insane amount of political ads on tv and the obsessive computerized phone calls and the waste of paper products filling my mailbox....Praise the LORD!!

I just really wonder if they really think that all of that junk works....All of the back stabbing commercials....Really?? What worries me most is that the people that want to run our country believe that that kind of behavior is okay....

As I would sit and watch 4 political commercials in a row I began to feel like I am standing on a playground with a group of 7 year olds.......

.....Well.......He did this.......and He said that.....and He told me he was going to do this and he never did.....He is a LIAR!!
And then we ask them what they did all we hear is....

.......I didn't do ANYTHING wrong!!!!....
The other thing that I thought that was soooo Hilarious is that they believe that just because we are rural midwesterners we are really going to base our voting on the guy if he is wearing a PLAID FLANNEL SHIRT!!!.......Really????? I just wonder what the commercials were like for the rest of the country.....One night we sat through the commercials and I am not kidding that 4 out of 4 of the politicians had on plaid flannel shirts....I am pretty sure that the wasn’t the same dress attire playing on a Los Angeles television set….

I realize that this morning there are many people that aren't happy with the outcome. But what the election did show us is that people want to shake things up....I actually heard a guy that when he went to vote he was only voting for the people that he didn't recognize their names.........now while I thought that was humorous I also think that is the stupidest thing ever!!! Honestly????.....

While we may not live in a perfect country I can't imagine one better....The fact that we did get to spend yesterday trying to make a difference in our country....I just saw a news report where in another country a woman was being beheaded for adultery......Can you Imagine??? I could sit here and tell you all kinds of reasons that we are fortunate to live here but we all really know......

I know there are people that chose not to vote yesterday....they were rebelling against the advertising.....they felt that it really wasn't going to make a difference anyway….It’s not like I don’t get it because I do, but when I watched the map change from Blue to Red last night I just thought..........that only happened because People spoke......People got out there and took advantage of their American Rights........You have to admit right or wrong in your opinion People made changes yesterday…..

I work at the polling station in our small country townhouse....We have a whopping total of 327 registered voters (talk about wondering if you make a difference…).......We get there at 6 am and hopefully they turned the furnace on...While we are getting things set up one of the workers goes and puts out the flag and then at 7 am the chair person walks outside and yells into the darkness and to mostly the cows..."Here Ye Here Ye the polls are now open...."

Yesterday we were busier than I think we have ever been since I have started working. Some people come in and don't say anything....Some come in and talk about the weather or about who is building the new house up on top of the ridge.....But there are always some that come in boasting about what a wonderful country that we live in that we get this opportunity........There was one gentleman that barged in with such a ruckus that we all jumped....."WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL PLACE TO LIVE.....!!!” I honestly don’t care how that man voted….that’s not what this is about…. I am just so honored that I was able to be sitting there while he was able to cast his vote.

And then there are the elderly people that I watch through the years...with each election they get slower and slower and it's harder for them to get out but they are there…Husbands holding the arm of their wife…the one woman who is blind that needs assistance but she is there Every time.....These people KNOW the significance of what they are doing.....(I guess maybe when they give up then I can too).....They have lived through things that I can't imagine and they know the importance of what it means to step behind that red, white and blue curtain and then drop their papers in ballot box.....
********************
Today I dream for you..........the realization that whether or not the person you voted for is going to occupy that office - GIVE THANKS!!!! Be thankful that you have a country that you have a choice!!!! I have had several friends that commented today that they would rather live in a different country than be under the leadership of Republicans/Democrats. Although I understand the offhand remarks like that it just makes me think...........It's like I would tell my kids when they would say that it's not fair because their friends got to do something they didn't.......
"Okay, you think it's better there????......Go ahead.....you go live with them, let their parents parent you and maybe that will make you grateful for what you have here.........it may not be perfect.....but let me tell you buddy (or missy) - you have it pretty darn good here!!!"

I think we all need that reminder……Maybe I will just put that quote up on my fridge for me – I think I could use that kick in the butt in a lot of situations……..

Have a great day enjoying your freedoms friends!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the other side of me......

Getting way to close to EMPTY
It always amazes me how quickly I can go from seeing the world through Rose Colored Glasses to wanting to pull the blanket up over my head....Sometimes there doesn't even have to be a reason. I just get that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach and I stand in the middle of my house and think of the dozens of things that need to be done or the dozens more that I feel I am doing all wrong....And what is really worse is when it isn't even my time of the month...lol..... I mean sometimes I can talk myself through when I know that might be the case but it's really hard when I know that's not it.

I try to tell myself I have had alot going on lately...but it seems like I Always have Alot going on. Every week I think that next week will be better. But by Monday every day is filled....... okay, just a minute...but if I'm being honest here, not every moment is filled. Just like today...... I worked the 6 am shift at the Polling Station today so that I would have the rest of the day. I get home and I am exhausted....I have bookwork that I don't EVEN want to talk about. Wood that needs brought in from outside. The Locker called and seems a tad bit irritated that my beef is still there since the fair - (still in the process of defrosting freezers). Becca is bringing a friend home from Milwaukee and she and Dustin are supposedly having a HUGE party this weekend when she comes home. There is a Bible Study I would like to start on Wed morning but the thought of one more thing makes me want to cry....(but I REALLY want to go to the Christmas Party!). I just backed out on my Thursday night Bible Study for the same reason. The school musical is on the 12th, 13th and 14th so now D is into rehersals until 10pm. most every night so then so much for getting to bed early. Friday night is our Jamaican Mission Waffle Supper. Saturday I am working at the Presbyterian Church for the UMPTEENTH year making noodles for their Bazaar and Tea after just spending a Saturday making Lefse....It's my mother n laws church and she is probably the youngest there by 20 years....Going to be a LONG morning and then we are back the next Saturday to do it again.....We greet on Sunday morning and then I will come home, curl up in the fetal position on my bed and probably cry myself to sleep so happy for Rest....(ohhhh that won't happen because Becca and her company will be here and I know I will want to make a nice lunch for them before they leave....)......aahhhhhh

So like I said, right now, instead of writing my blog I should be doing the things that NEED to get done but it is one of those days where I just don't have it in me. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW ....Debbie would tell me to Eat That Frog....LOL....If I would just do some of those bigger things than I would feel much more at peace....Those things that seem like a Huge Cloud looming over me....those things that I seem to wear like a yoke.

I am great at giving people the pep talk about how and why to do things to improve their lives...I Love to be the motivator and watch peoples outlook on life change. I don't think there is a day that goes by that someone doesn't email me or contact me somehow that I get to encourage  or just be an shoulder for them to lean on..... and I LOVE that!.......So I know all of that stuff but times like today when I'm hearing it pointed at me I just want to tell that voice in my head to SHUT UP!! I am sick of hearing the positive stuff....of what I am suppose to do....of telling myself that if I make a stinkin' list then Everything will be great.....And the Most Disturbing but the one that screams the Loudest.....IF YOU WEREN'T SO FAT then you would be happy............Wow....................(you will have to give me a minute to get myself back together after that one.......)..........whew.....

It's all in there.......it goes through my head......If you have read my blog for any length of time now you can see that there is a WHOLE lot in this head of mine. Sometimes I feel like I am going 100 miles an hour while  sitting still. My mind is constantly racing.......many times overwhelming me to the point of exhaustion. Every waking moment of every day my mind is going in 20 different directions and sometimes I just want....QUIET.....I want to not have memories....or plans....or lists.....or regrets.....I just want it to all go away........

Sooooooooooo......you probably didn't expect this today did you? Or for those of you that know me you were probably wondering when it was finally going to come.....Some of you may wonder if my other posts are just fluff....are they really me or do I spend most of my days in a heap only coming out to write a story that will make me Look good.....To some people I think that is seems like this is just the kind of drama they were hoping to find....It's sad but for some people they are beyond thrilled to see this post....It's like an ...AH HA.... Gotcha....Well if that is what you needed than I hope I made your day.....

But for all the rest of you that I call friends I just felt I needed to be real with you....for you to know that when you call and break down because it feels like the world is falling in around you I understand....When I speak to you it is because I feel your pain and I want better for you.....I want better for us!!!!.... Although I would like to say that I hate being in this place... isn't it funny how sometimes we just want to wallow for awhile.....We just want to give ourselves time to stomp are foot and cry out that the world isn't fair.

And I just have to add that I realize in the scope of things that what I struggle with at times seem so small in the scope of life.....I watch my brother Neil and his wife Allison and how they are Incredible parents to my nephew Noel....He has been confined to a wheel chair for so many years and live daily in the reality of what it means for your son to have Muscular Dystrophy but have taught him to LIVE and I couldn't be more proud of them....(you can read his story and visit his site at http://www.drawnup.net/ ).....those are the reasons I live most of my days thankful and try to live in the moment because I don't know what the next may bring.....

But the fact of the matter is today is a wallowing day for me....but actually yesterday was too....I am quite sure that loosing Grandma has brought out a whole lot of feelings that I am really not excited to feel. I am thankful for what I do have but REALLY ticked at what I don't.....(And once again for those who know me you know exactly what I mean and I Love you for that.....)

Okay Okay Okay.....just like when I'm writing the positive stuff I could go on and on with this side as well.....But, it's not making any of our days much brighter......But I felt that if I am going to be real on my blog then you have to see this side as well because just ask my family it is here as well.....

So after all of this..... do I leave you with an I dream for you????.........hhhmmm.....Well, okay let's see......I dream for you today the chance to be Real....I mean Vulnerable....with someone....Okay you don't have to go as Insane as me and put it out there for the world to read but to be real to someone........even if it's only to yourself and God......maybe just writing out how you honestly feel might help when it seems like there are truly no answers......I don't know....maybe it doesn't work for everyone....For me it's freeing....I know my week is still going to be crazy and I can't say that I still won't cry because of where I'm at right now but for me there has always been power in words....just letting these go have helped greatly.....I have talked to so many of you  that read my blog and you have given me such encouragement. I know the love that you have for me....so as I share this with you I know that you have listened with a caring heart.....

I thank you all my friends for being a listening ear....

Blessings to you....